Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long Run Warriors

On Saturday morning I met a half dozen or so runners at the GRC. It was warm but not super hot. We proceeded to run north along the Canal before taking Chain Bridge* into Virginia. I’ve never run over Chain Bridge but the view was quite spectacular; one of the best views of the Potomac (aside from maybe Great Falls) that I’ve come across. Our pack labored up a steep incline before turning and running south along Glebe Road. The pace quickened ever so slowly and we began to run what I guestimate was 6:30 pace. My plan was to run between 15 and 18 and I knew back in my mind that a hot pace early on a warm day would be not so fun in about an hour. Max danced ahead while Reaves, Dirk, Billy, Sam, Murphy and I floated off the back. Eventually we hooked up to the Custis Trail. Dirk caught up to Max and the pace quickened. Never one to shy away from a Sunday morning long run race, I decided to shy away from a Sunday morning long run race (note that the Sunday run was in fact done on Saturday). Although I love to hammer parts of my long run it felt too early to push, plus I wasn’t feeling 100%. I couldn’t pinpoint it, but I was just a tad off. I struggled off the back of the pack waiting to snap out of it. We clocked a few 6:0X miles while flying back towards the Key Bridge before stopping for a Gatorade/water break at the Store. Some of us continued on and some called it a day. A smaller pack then ran down to the Mall and looped around the WW2 and Lincoln Memorials before crossing back into Virginia via the Memorial Bridge. Reaves, Sam and I picked it up considerably and got down to what we guessed was 5:40 pace. We shut it down on the VA side of the Key Bridge and shuffled back to the store. Solid run – 17 miles.

On Sunday I hit up Lake Frank. I don’t think I’ve run here since last year because it is too inconvenient to get to now after work. I think I am the only one who runs here - I love this place. There are lots of different “things” going on at Lake Frank not to mention different terrain types. There are a couple of goats I run by. Sometimes I stop and talk to them. They always come over to the edge of the fence and listen. There is also a “Raptor Trail” which contains a nice collection of birds of prey including a giant bald eagle.

70 miles this week. I am back on schedule. The surge begins.

*In 1797, the merchants of Georgetown built here the first bridge over the Potomac River in order to compete with the Virginia port of Alexandria. The Falls Bridge allowed trade from the "upper country" of Virginia to move directly to Georgetown over the Georgetown-Leesburg Road. After the first two bridges were destroyed by floods, a chain suspension bridge, considered a marvel of engineering with a span of 128 feet between stone towers, was built in 1808. Although this bridge has been replaced by other forms of construction, the popular name Chain Bridge continues to be used. The present bridge was built following the flood of 1936.

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